GRANBURY, TX – A gut-wrenching scene unfolded across the small Texas town of Granbury early Thursday morning following a devastating outbreak of tornadoes. The storms left behind at least six dead and nearly 100 others injured in the neighborhoods of Rancho Brazos Estates and DeCordova Ranch, according to CNN.
At a midnight news conference, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said that emergency management officials were still trying to account for 14 people.
“Some were found in houses. Some were found around houses,” Deeds said. He also said the total number dead could climb as crews pick through the rubble of shattered homes.
As the tornado continued to slowly scrape across the Texas landscape east of Granbury, the funnel grew as large as a mile wide at times.
In a warning issued at 9:23 p.m. CDT Wednesday, the National Weather Service indicated that, “Storm spotters and Doppler radar observed a tornado moving northeast at 15 mph near Cleburne. Spotters reported that this tornado is a mile wide, and capable of incredible destruction. This tornado has shifted paths, and is aimed right at the city of Cleburne.”
The thunderstorms that tore through northeastern Texas were the result of a strong disturbance diving into northern Texas. Warm and humid winds blowing from the Gulf of Mexico collided with hot and dry winds from West Texas, resulting it a twisting motion in the lower atmosphere.
A high resolution radar image of the tornadic supercell thunderstorm as it moved toward Cleburne. The tornado was located at the head of the “hook” that is depicted.
As soon as the thunderstorms were able to tap that, powerful tornadoes exploded along and south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Daylight hours on Thursday will reveal the real extent of the damage caused across the region, but at least the weather will be cooperative for cleanup.
Temperatures will reach into the upper 80s and lower 90s into the weekend, with the next chance for thunderstorms arriving Sunday afternoon.